Love to binge on potato chips, bread, bakery products and chocolate? Then beware, as a new rodent-based study revealed that eating processed foods can cause leaky gut syndrome, which in turn increases the risk of kidney disease. The study, led by researchers at Monash University in Australia, showed that heat-treated or processed foods are rich in harmful chemical compounds called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). These chemicals give the browned, roasted, fried, grilled and baked foods their flavour and aroma. The AGEs trigger a process called the Maillard reaction and switch on the body’s danger signals leading to an inflammatory response and chronic kidney disease.
However, eating foods that contain high resistant starch fibre such as oats, cooked and cooled rice, barley, bean and legumes such as black beans and peas, raw potato starch (as a supplement), cooked and cooled potatoes, can help restore gut health and improve kidney health, revealed the study published in the journal Science Advances.
“These foods are important as they get down into your lower gut and basically serve as food for your gut bacteria. The gut bacteria ferment these food-producing metabolites that are anti-inflammatory,” said lead author Melinda Coughlan, Associate Professor at Monash Central Clinical School’s Department of Diabetes.
Globally, 10 per cent people are affected with chronic kidney disease. Consumption of processed food is also associated with the risk of all-cause mortality, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cancer and gastrointestinal diseases.
“Dietary change, as with most behaviour change, can be difficult to maintain long term, but by adding more foods high in resistant starch fibre and steaming and stewing cooking practices we can help dampen the harmful effects,” Coughlan said.